‘WE WILL DE­LIVER’ New Cab­i­net ap­pointees pledge to na­tion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Tendai Mu­gabe

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe yes­ter­day swore in three new Cab­i­net Min­is­ters and three Min­is­ters of State for Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs at State House fol­low­ing a Cab­i­net reshuf­fle an­nounced on Monday.

The three Cab­i­net Min­is­ters are Re­tired Ma­jor General Hap­py­ton Bony­ongwe (Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs), Cdes Edgar Mb­wem­bwe (Tourism, En­vi­ron­ment and Hos­pi­tal­ity In­dus­try) and Chi­ratidzo Mabuwa (Youths, In­di­geni­sa­tion and Eco­nomic Em­pow­er­ment.)

Min­is­ters of State for Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs who took Oaths of Of­fice be­fore the Pres­i­dent were Dr Paul Chimedza (Masvingo) Cdes Web­ster Shamu (Mashona­land West) and Thokozile Mathuthu (Mata­bele­land North).

Am­bas­sador Aaron Maboyi Ncube, who was ap­pointed Min­is­ter of State for Mata­bele­land South Prov­in­vial Af­fairs, was not present at the swear­ing in cer­e­mony.

Soon after tak­ing Oaths of Of­fice, the three Cab­i­net Min­is­ters joined their coun­ter­parts in at­tend­ing their first Cab­i­net meet­ing at State House.

The swear­ing-in cer­e­mony was punc­tu­ated with laugh­ter as Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe and Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko cracked in­ter­mit­tent jokes that light­ened the event.

Re­fer­ring to Cde Shamu who was once sus­pended from Zanu-PF for his al­leged close links with former Vice Pres­i­dent Joice Mu­juru, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe left ev­ery­one in stitches when he quipped: “Back to busi­ness.”

Turn­ing to Rtd Maj Gen Bony­ongwe, Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe said: “I hope you are ready. It’s a new area.”

His re­marks were in ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to Rtd Maj Gen Bony­ongwe’s long back­ground in the in­tel­li­gence ser­vices where he used to work in se­crecy as Di­rec­tor General for the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

VP Mphoko also shared some lighter mo­ments with the new min­is­ters that left ev­ery­one laugh­ing.

In a joke di­rected to the new Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs Min­is­ter; VP Mphoko said: “Bony­ongwe hwuDG hwaenda. Ndakan­ganwa ku­uya ne­shamhu yangu yekurovesa manyunyu. (Bony­ongwe you are no longer CIO di­rec­tor general. I for­got to bring a whip to hit you as an ini­ti­a­tion to the new job).”

Speak­ing to jour­nal­ists after the swear­ing in cer­e­mony, the new min­is­ters pledged to work hard and de­liver the ex­pected results.

Min­is­ter Bony­ongwe, a qual­i­fied lawyer, said: “It is my hope that I will be able to make some pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions to the coun­try, and it is some­thing that has al­ways mo­ti­vated me. I left Zim­babwe in 1975 at age 15 to join the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle and since then, I have al­ways done what the party and the lead­er­ship di­rected me to do.

“So I was in the strug­gle and after that I joined the army at in­de­pen­dence. I did that un­til I was di­rected to go to join the Pres­i­dent’s Depart­ment — that is what I have al­ways been do­ing and this now has come about. I have once again been di­rected to go the Min­istry of Jus­tice, Le­gal and Par­lia­men­tary Af­fairs. So I have moved as a di­rec­tive, a de­ploy­ment from the lead­er­ship and there­fore I look at it from that con­text, and I will go to Jus­tice and do my best in mov­ing my coun­try for­ward.”

Min­is­ter Mabuwa said: “I know that a lot of work has been done and a lot of work still needs to be done. My pre­de­ces­sors did a lot of work. It’s about tak­ing the baton stick and not stop­ping but mov­ing to the next level. We are aim­ing for the fin­ish­ing line.

“It’s not about com­par­ing and say­ing this per­son was do­ing what and I am go­ing to do that. They have given me a baton stick and I am happy that I have been given the baton stick by a mo­ti­vated young man who was run­ning the Min­istry. I ought to re­move some of my years and be young in or­der to fit into his shoes.”

Min­is­ter Mbe­m­bwe, who took over from En­gi­neer Wal­ter Mzembi who was re­de­ployed to the For­eign Af­fairs port­fo­lio, said: “I see this as an hon­our to serve my coun­try as ap­pointed by His Ex­cel­lency, the Pres­i­dent. My work is very clear and I will con­tinue to work to en­sure that Zim­babwe re­mains on the global map as the des­ti­na­tion of choice for tourists as well as an in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion. “

Min­is­ter Mb­wem­bwe said his pre­de­ces­sor had raised the bar in pro­mot­ing tourism, adding that he would be equal to the task at hand.

Dr Chimedza said his first pri­or­ity was to unite Masvingo province, which had been widely per­ceived as a prob­lem­atic province po­lit­i­cally.

“I think in the short term it’s im­por­tant to unite the peo­ple of Masvingo. I think it’s some­thing that can be done. Once we work to­gether with unity of pur­pose, the sec­ond phase is to make sure that de­vel­op­ment hap­pens in Masvingo. In the medium term that we de­velop the province, peo­ple see value in the lead­er­ship of the province and also it’s im­por­tant to re­alise and un­der­stand that we have one Pres­i­dent in the coun­try and we align to the same. Loy­alty is im­por­tant to the Pres­i­dent.”

Newly ap­pointed Min­is­ters (right to left) Thokozile Mathuthu, Web­ster Shamu, Paul Chimedza, Edgar Mb­wem­bwe, Chi­ratidzo Mabuwa and Rtd Ma­jor General Hap­py­ton Bony­ongwe take their oath of of­fice at State House in Harare yes­ter­day. (Pic­ture by John Man­zongo)

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